It looks like we won’t be getting that long-in-the-works foldable smartphone from Samsung anytime soon. The so-called Samsung Galaxy X has been in the rumor mill for a few years now, with reports claiming it’ll hit the shelves just before the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 does this year. However, a new information about the device reveals it won’t be commercialized until 2019 and the new Galaxy S8 is partly to blame.
Samsung Display’s principal engineer, Kim Tae-Woong, said at the Display TechSalon held in Seoul recently that the company is focusing on bezel-free displays at this point. “Because the bezel-free display currently sells well, we still have enough time to develop foldable display,” he explained.
Apparently, there are still some technical challenges about foldable phones that need to be addressed. So, Samsung is holding off the Samsung Galaxy X release until “it matures around 2019.”
The Galaxy X has been subject to much speculation since 2015. A few outlets previously reported that two foldable handsets with different designs have been in the works at Samsung, set for unveiling as early as the end of 2017. There were even claims that the company showcased its concept to select mobile network providers at Barcelona’s MWC 2017 trade show in February this year. Although it’s unclear exactly who had the opportunity for the said sneak peek.
‘When Demand For Bezel-Free Phones Declines’
Chung Won-Seok, an analyst at HI Investment and Securities, corroborates (via The Korea Herald) the idea that it is not necessary for Samsung to come out with a new form factor as long as the newly unveiled bezel-free Galaxy S8 will sell well.
“Samsung Display is expected to commercialize foldable phones in 2019 because the company does not need to sell the new hardware because it is already enjoying 20 percent of operating profits with bezel-free displays,” Chung explained. “When the demand for bezel-free handsets slows down, Samsung will unveil the foldable display as the next card.”
The Galaxy S8 is currently the only bezel-free handset in the company’s lineup. It has received generally positive reviews since its unveiling last week, thanks to its stunning design and high-end specs. Its Infinity display alone has already convinced many people to throw down some serious cash, so it’s very likely that we will see the same feature to its flagships in the future.
Regardless of the Samsung Galaxy X release date, the South Korean manufacturer isn’t the only one working on this type of technology. Kolon Industries executive Kang Chung-Seok revealed back in December that he expects three to five companies to start mass producing foldable smartphones by 2018.